Publication Date

Spring 5-10-2022

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


Restorative justice, an approach to harm rooted in Indigenous culture, asks three central questions: 1) What is the harm? 2) Who is impacted? 3) How can we repair it? This is a vastly different approach to most criminal justice procedures that instead seek to determine who broke what rule and how they should be punished. Although a modern resurgence of restorative justice has exploded across college campuses, higher education has been slow to adopt the approach for relationship violence and sexual harm. In this study, victim advocates, conduct professionals, and university administrators at the University of San Diego participated in stage-matched interventions, evolving through the transtheoretical model of change with a growing motivation to explore restorative justice for gender-based harm. Participation in restorative justice practices not only removed a shroud of uncertainty about the process but also deeply connected the group while revealing that restorative philosophy mirrored their values. Ultimately, the participants stepped up to action, working collaboratively to plan a forthcoming proposal to implement a restorative justice option as an adaptable resolution for gender-based misconduct.

Keywords: restorative justice, gender-based misconduct, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, Title IX, organizational change, transtheoretical model of change

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License